Racial Disparities Of The United States Justice System

3104 Words13 Pages
Persistent racial disparities are a defining characteristic of the United States justice system. Racial disparities in the justice system are characterized by differences in the proportions of a racial group in the system and in the general population. There is extensive literature detailing the higher likelihood of minorities, specifically African Americans, being arrested, receiving harsher sentences, and being incarcerated more frequently than Whites. As of 2008, African Americans comprised 13% of the general population, yet made up 38% of prison and jail inmates. Latinos comprised 15% of the general population, and 19% of the prison and jail population. An African American male born in 2001 has a 32% chance of spending time in…show more content…
This paper will explore the causes and consequences of this racial disparity and political institutions that perpetuate the racial injustice. Analyses of this kind are significantly important considering the implications in the modern day society, where issues of race and justice are becoming more pervasive and exigent. The United States has a longstanding history of racism and discriminatory policy, stemming from the colonial era. Generally, those who weren’t considered true White Americans faced blatant ethnicity-based discrimination and adversity in matters of education, human rights, immigration, land ownership, and politics. Specific racial institutions, characteristic of the 17th to 20th centuries, included slavery, wars against the Native Americans, exclusion from civil life, and segregation. It wasn’t until the mid-20th century that formal racial discrimination was banned, and majority attitudes began to see racism as socially unacceptable. However, our relatively recent racialized history has left an unfortunate impact on present society. The legacy of historical racism still continues to be echoed through socioeconomic inequality, and racial politics still remain a major phenomenon. Many argue that our government systems have shifted from means of overt racism to more symbolic, covert racism, and that this is reflected in our societal institutions, such as employment, housing, education, economics, and government. The House
Get Access